From childhood to later in life, the development of vaccines has protected us from serious, and sometimes deadly, diseases. In Ireland, smallpox, rubella, polio, tuberculosis, diphtheria, pneumonia and measles used to be part of life.
Now, we don’t have to worry about them as much. Vaccination for COVID-19 is reducing serious illness and mortality, giving us a very effective weapon in the battle against the virus. With the exception of clean, safe drinking water, vaccination is among the most successful and cost-effective public health interventions ever.
The World Health Organisation estimates that vaccines save up to three million lives every year. Much of the progress we have made in human health has been enabled by vaccines. Let’s not take that for granted. Instead, we should celebrate science.
Children are twice as likely as adults to get flu. In the past 10 years, almost 5,000 children were admitted to hospital with complications of flu. Getting your child vaccinated against flu means enjoying more moments as a happy and healthy family.
During the 2019/2020 flu season, vaccines were given to 59% of over-65s, 59% of hospital healthcare workers and 46% of long-term care facility healthcare workers.
In April 2016, the WHO announced that rubella transmission has been interrupted due to the vaccine. Ireland is now considered free of endemic rubella.
Overall cases of meningococcal meningitis have dropped by more than 80% since vaccines were introduced.